Marine Recreational Information Program

On December 23, 2008, NOAA Fisheries released a final rule giving anglers and spearfishers who fish recreationally in federal ocean waters until Jan. 1, 2010 to be registered in the national saltwater angler registry, a new tool designed to help the nation better manage and rebuild valuable fish stocks.

NOAA Fisheries received nearly 500 comments from anglers, state officials, fishing and environmental organizations on its proposed national registry rule during the comment period from June 12 until Aug. 21. The comments were considered carefully and helped NOAA Fisheries decide to give states and anglers another year to comply with the new rule.

The final rule outlines the process NOAA Fisheries will use for registering saltwater recreational anglers. It also addresses the qualifications and procedures for exempting states and their anglers from the federal registration requirement.